Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I need to make a list...

Of things that I should reference back to, six months from now.

I always have an ever-changing, constantly rotating list of issues, tasks, and goals, churning over and over in my brain. And, just like any other job or project, the items on this list need to have a scheduled time-for-completion. For example: if you want to actually run a marathon, you will need to schedule this "life dream", and do so as soon as possible. It will never be convenient to run a marathon, and it will be next to impossible if "finally get around to it" after your retirement at age 83. So get to scheduling it, if you plan on seeing it happen.

This post is about my own fucking list. I curse the list because it is the purpose, and simultaneously the bane of my existence. It is what drives me. It is what fuels my ambition, and gives reason for my regret. It is the ever-present proof that I am both extremely capable, and fascinatingly lazy. It is the measuring stick I will use when on my death bed, to decide whether or not my life added up to what I wanted it to. It oscillates between prized trophy and "time's up" buzzer. My yin & yang of productive capacity.

On to the goddamn list, as it stands today. No particular order here. Just a simple listing of what needs to happen, with associated completion requirements.

1) make a fucking list that doesn't include crazy shit like: write a novel. What the fuck does that mean? You can't "schedule" that shit, can you? I mean, that's like "scheduling" a painting. You only do that for commissioned pieces for fuck's sake.

2) make a list that DOES NOT include crazy-ass places to vacation to. This just leads to frustration in that you have yet to honestly control all the variables involved in carting yourself (and Ava) around the globe. Too many goddamn variables. Schedule the control of those variables first.

3) Stop making these useless lists, and learn to ignore the need to perpetually rate your current-self against less-wise previous selves. You might live longer that way.

4) Ignore number three, as it is unreasonable to assume that comparison will not lead to some kind of enlightenment concerning oneself.

5) Get a more gas efficient vehicle before the end of May 2005.

Carry on then.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Today: Worst Gas Ever

You don't have to read this. I am just typing it out so that I will have it to laugh at later. When I'm feeling blue... Awww...

So, this past weekend took a serious toll on me. It broke me down. Turned me inside out. Bad food, bad drink, bad sleep, bad smoke, bad brain. I think it has something to do with a subconscious effort on my part, to purge myself before Ava gets here. Well, she mentioned that as a possible reason for my lack of discipline this past weekend, and I thought it a convenient explanation. I fly to get her this Saturday, so it stands to reason that I might blow my shit on my last weekend by my lonesome.

Regardless of the reason(s), Self-Destructo has left my internal system of tubes and shoots for the processing and disposal of food-stuffs all jacked up. I feel like an over-filled balloon in the hands of a rabid eight-year-old boy, who just lets out the air in small-violent-bursts, rapidly flapping the lips of the opening together like a shit-bag wind instrument. Only this balloon has been filled with Agent Orange.

When I break myself into pieces (as I did last weekend), my system pretty much shuts itself down for a few days. Some sort of protest I guess. No budge. So I picked up some bran on the way to work today, because I am a HUGE fan of regularity, and drank two cups of coffee to help speed up the process. The result, is little more than a cattle-prod to that balloon gatekeeper of an eight-year-old: so he's just letting more out, more often than he normally would.

Now there's nothing unfamiliar, within the cubicle world, about the scent of someone else's biscuits cooking. We're all crammed into this egg-crate, one on-top of another, and we all have our own special unpleasantries. One gets used to their neighbors' more unseemly habits (flagrant nose-picking guy, incessant toe-tapping woman, that insipid walrus-looking tart who insists on using her "outdoor" voice when blabbing to her best friend back in Missouri -company phone:company bill- about getting laid the weekend before, the dude who vomits into a trashcan after hearing the walrus gloat, etc...). Being the youngest male in the department, I have gained a reputation for raising hell on school nights. Raising hell, is above all other things, hell on the intestinal tract.

So, my most heinous infraction of the rules of common courtesy is to show up after a long night and immediate blast the whole department with processed booze-humidity. Sometimes, I swear I can actually hear the air conditioner kick up a notch on Monday mornings. They probably change the filters every weekend, just to prepare.


But today is a Tuesday. The cannon was curiously silent on Monday, yesterday... Mt. St. Helens style... and now, the fury that built up during (yet) another practically sleepless night of bloated-belly-rumbling is being exacted upon an unsuspecting department populace. Tuesday is their usual day for rest. But the quivering bowels were gonna have none o' that restin' business. The assault began this morning, thirty minutes after my serving of bran and midway through my second cup o' joe. No formal declaration of war, no warning shots. The thunderous attack started with impressive strength, and it has been a virtual chemical fire in this joint ever since. I have had to get up and walk around the halls, just to create some sort of directed air-flow to pull the stuff away from where I sit. Otherwise, ground zero would be EASY to locate.

Those things will follow you for a good quarter mile. Just so you know.

I've been trekking to different floors, to use other departments' bathrooms, just to give my workmates some sort of respite. But as soon as I return, the relentless assault resumes.

Now I wish I had an air-conditioned chair. Man, the heat is really making my workday unpleasant. Something with an air-cooling system which ran through the seat. Something powered by natural gas perhaps. Better yet: by my own methane. That way it would only cool down when needed.

That should brighten my mood, anytime I feel like I'm sick of this shit. A cooling chair, powered (and necessitated) by my ass dirt is funny. I should continue to laugh at that. When that is no longer funny, then I am too old to find humor in anything.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Mental Inventory: Release...

So, what the hell are we going to tell her? I mean, is there, in all that exists, the design or method to tell your woman what exactly went down? Is there a way to explain the situation so that it does not sound so absolutely idiotic? The truth will never make do here. It was too far beyond ridiculous to bother making the tell-back a petty laundry list of disjointed events, infused with booze, ending with you sleeping in the yard. That would never cut it. So, what the hell are we going to tell her?

She has been through way too much with you already. You have dragged her through the proverbial relationship bog-mud on more occasions than a normal human could possibly stand. Remember that bachelor party where you ended up in Toronto, at five in the morning, three days AFTER the party began, dressed up like the Green Lantern? You were never even a fan of comic books. How the hell did that happen? Your only saving grace was that, unlike the groom: Ben (where did you know him from anyway?), at least your character was male. The outfit was tailored for your physique. It is worth noting though, that outside of the ball-hair protruding from his frontal panty line, Ben looked pretty smart in his get-up (but: did Little Bo Peep wear a t-back?). If only you had intended to land in Toronto, maybe she would never had to come and get you. All the way from Houston.

Who knew the Green Lantern had no pockets within which to properly store identification and cash reserves? How did HE pull it off then? Did he have a knapsack or something? A Super Hero fanny pack perhaps? You do not know, because you never were a fan of comic books. Your mistake, obviously.

But she came and got your silly ass: at the airport, detained for suspicion of terrorism, dressed in green tights, a half empty bottle of absinthe, and a really sad looking hat. She really considered leaving you to the errant judicial process of the Mounties. It was obvious from that look in her eye, which has been a staple of communication between the two of you throughout your relationship’s term (used most frequently when discussing your less-than-adult activities which only seem to occur when you manage your way out of her sight). It is no wonder that you two have a monthly breakup. If there is any wonder at all, it is that she willingly takes you and your antics back. That would have to be the only grand mystery here, the only real mystery beyond what appears to be your persistent ability to 1) place yourself in or 2) invent: the most ridiculous situations which force her to swing in like Tarzan, at the last possible second, to rescue you from your own absurdity (just to drop you off into another situation which you will most assuredly muck-up beyond recognition or comprehension).

Remember when she came and got you from the hospital after you managed to burn three theatre seats to a crisp? When you called to tell her that you were in the hospital, you curiously omitted the part about your ass being burnt to a crisp too. You also took two weeks to explain that you were trying to make yourself laugh by lighting a fart during the previews before watching The Matrix for the third time (that day). You were sitting alone. This was a solitary act. In the back row of a moderately-filled theatre. Much to the dismay of the paramedics, your lighter was leaking butane, and your pants were those oily ones you used to do your weekly “maintenance” on the piece of shit you call an automobile. Without the cautionary aide of strangers (who undoubtedly would have recommended you not light the methane emitting from your anus in public), and without the mental fortitude to refrain from wearing little more than a malatav cocktail rag… you now have permanent, and ever fire-pulsing hemorrhoids.

And as always: she simply gave you that look, brought a blanket to the hospital, and read you the latest issues of Cosmo, People, and Urb magazine while you kept clicking the morphine into your spine. Your arrival home was marked by a tub of Tux medicated pads on the bathroom counter, which you promptly loaded into your bunghole like Tux-shrapnel into your swollen anal-canal-cannon. She watched, and calmly abetted, without judgment. That love must run deep.

But this time will probably be different. The innocence of an ass-bomb gone awry is no match for the depths you sank this time.

Well, maybe you have set a similar precedent. She did not take too well to that whole disaster involving the car battery and your own nephew at your Uncle’s funeral. If it had been a funeral within her family, or it had been your nine year-old nephew who was gripping the leads first, to see who could hold on the longest, the relationship might have ended immediately after she drop kicked you off the parking block in order to break your idiot-induced circuit-of-death. Looking back, your only self-serving immediate concern was that your nephew got out of it without having to beat your time. A bet was a bet, and you felt you took it like a trouper while he just cried like a wet kitten once the blood started coming from your ears. She refused to allow the bet to be completed.

The nervous ticks you still seem to have, which make peeing in public near impossible, can be attributed to that lost bet. For reasons unknown, she is even forgiving of that. She never seems to mind driving you all the way back home between dinner and a movie, just so you can drain your tickled weasel. Christ, what a case you are.

On the subject of peeing… oh the saga… the lore…

a bit before your battle and subsequent loss to the Diehard foe, you managed to pee in her parents’ pool. Three times. Once, from on top of the slide (because you thought no one would be coming outside for a minute, forgetting: 1) that it takes you over a minute to finish 2) the slide faces the back door, and 3) her father was cooking some white fish on the grill which had to be basted and turned really fucking often). The pump for the hose which normally wets the slide surface was dead, and in a moment of idiot-ingenuity, you figured: your urine, the most accessible liquid available from the top rung of the slide ladder, would be as good as any other liquid to wet it down. If you were four instead of twenty four at the time, you may have gotten away with it. But when he walked out that door and saw you standing at the top of the slide, peeing a stream of neon over its sun-chapped surface… anger is too short a word to describe his mood-transformation. If that baster had been a cleaver, you would be a eunuch.

The second time, not but two months later, was a miscalculation involving a highly competitive game of water volleyball, far too much lemonade, and that evil chemical indicator which turns the water purple after contact with human urine (her father powdered the warning system into the standard chemicals after your fountain event on the slide, which had scared his grand children into going to summer camp instead of Grammy and Grampy’s house the following June). You kept playing volleyball long after everyone was well aware that you had tainted the pool. That vicious grape mass was following you like bad karma. Her grandmother was underwater at the time, and had accidentally passed through your cloud while swimming her afternoon laps. “She should have been playing the game anyhow, she kept getting in the way of my returns” you reasoned. You didn’t even help to pull her gasping, limp frame from the pool. Your shoulder shrugging in response to this most obvious faux pas has never been accepted as proper.

Your third urination, being set up exactly the same as the second one (another mere year later), is seen by you as more their mistake than yours. You had shown a propensity to leak when in their pool, and you believe(d) that the indicator chemical should have been done away with as it would never serve as a deterrent to you, but would guarantee that everyone’s afternoon of games in the pool would come to a rather angry end. (It takes up to six hours for that purple haze to completely filter out the system, apparently. Who would have thought?) It was dark by the time the water returned to crystal blue. Chemistry sucks.

But you know what? There are worse things you have done. Truly hurtful things. Activities which transcend your amazing ability for crass indifference to other peoples’ feelings (mainly hers). Like the time, in the heat of an argument over your refusal to have the disposal professionally fixed led to a massive sewage leak in the kitchen, you claimed her father was openly gay. You are the only one capable of seeing this as an acceptable defense for your laziness. True, he did have an extended embrace with that other man at their reunion. But it was a veterans’ reunion, and that stranger saved her father’s life in Viet Nam. And the wet, open-mouthed kiss that you claimed made the whole thing gay in an “open” way was completely fabricated. A lie you stick to, even to this day, as you believe that it made your argument for not getting a licensed plumber to fix the sink: perfectly reasonable in comparison to her father’s (completely fabricated) homo-relations (“right in front of your mom, too!”). Somehow, she sees beyond the callous crap that builds your person.

So here you are. Halfway on the curb, halfway in the flower bed, begging the morning sun to pull back the cool duvet of night. Your wallet has probably been missing long enough for you to have new debt that will eclipse the size of your school loans (damn that pesky fraud protection charge, should’ve kept paying it). She’ll love that. Especially since you’ve been unemployed for the past three months, living off her meager income as a real estate agent. “Keep selling honey! You’re the champ! I’m just going to grab a beer with the fellas.” Your brilliance-void is unparalleled. And you proved that last night when you smashed the glass on the jukebox because you were convinced that they had given the C103 code you thought was for the Rolling Stones to some John Fogerty garbage, only to remember that you had selected both. Unfortunately, you only remembered your fatal selection after the owner and two simian-esque men man-handled you into the back parking lot (don’t worry, lots of folks eat with less than a full set of teeth). You could hear your precious Stones singing “you can’t always get – what you want” as you napped on the concrete… shards of jukebox glass transferred, effortlessly digging their way into your forehead, from your right hand. The dumpster juice puddle you were flattened in will surely help those wounds garner you a first-class third-world infection. You just can’t win, can you?

I know what you’re thinking: “well, if it weren’t for that one cowboy who kept buying rounds of whiskey, I wouldn’t have been so bent. I wouldn’t have been eating pavement in the parking lot, and I wouldn’t have been passed out in the bathroom to see that Mexican fellow break the urinal like a crazed baboon.” But, it is only fair to point out that the cowboy never bought you any shots. You stole them, technically, although you did offer a fair toast to his bride-to-be, and he thought that was funny since he was not getting married. Quite the contrary. He was there to celebrate his “coming out” with close friends and relatives. You were nothing more than a thieving, slobbering, (but entertaining) drunk. And it was YOU who knocked the urinal off the wall after repeatedly kicking it for a flush, ignoring that it was equipped with a motion sensor device. The Mexican fellow was desperately trying to stop the geyser you kicked into existence. He even picked you up out of the two inches of water you were gurgling in so that you wouldn’t drown. They blamed it on the day laborer, and he had yet to gather a strong enough command of the English language to defend himself. An honorable man would have defended him, as he had the common courtesy to save you from drowning in urinal water. But there was no respite for him, falling from your guilty lips. You best hope to never see him again.

But even those errors in judgment, while they are supreme in nature, do not compare to your display of gallactically immense callousness toward your lady today. You don’t remember how you ended up on this curb, do you? That’s a good thing. It might be better to wait until your hangover-induced suicidal episode subsides. Luckily, you have yet to regain full use of your limbs, otherwise you might find something really tall to jump from. Like, say, a slide leading into an empty pool? How about her parents’ empty pool? How about: it isn’t empty anymore due to the rather whiskey-pungent puddle of your piss, which is blemishing the newly refurbished surface as we lay here? That, and the damp, dissolved chemical coating that was supposed to help seal the plaster around the bottom drain. That won’t be working too well now, will it? Neutralized that base real quick, didn’t you?

Yes, the cabby should have taken you to jail right then and there, when halfway to her parent’s house, you told him that you only had $7 to your name. The fare was already at $12, and you were lying about the measly $2 you actually had in your front pocket. You should have noted the missing wallet then. But no, not the belligerent urinator. He could have ended your night of misery right then and there by bringing you to the proper authorities where she would know to come find you in the morning. But no. After he heaved and pulled you out of his cab, threw you into a brick mailbox, and rummaged through the pants on your motionless body… he definitely got that $2, and he must have taken that tuft of hair from the back of your head to settle the remainder of the fare. I don’t recall any other occasion that would have led to a surrender by scalping. He didn’t look Apache. But then again, the Apaches never really scalped by the handfuls. By some accounts, they never scalped at all. But by all accounts here, you received the bad end of a mini-scalping at some point during your bender. Bet it was Masjid who did it.

No, the tears on your left pant leg and the blood caked to your knee were not sustained from the juke box, or the well-within-his-right-to-uproot-your-follicles cabby. Those came courtesy of her parents’ neighbor’s miniature Schnauzer (after you came-to from your sad loss to the brick mailbox, you took a meandering short-cut through the neighborhood on your trek to her parents’ pool: meandering over numerous fences, flower beds, and adjoining back yards. Hell, you almost peed in two other pools, thinking you had found your target (only to realize that there was no slide to make a positive identification). You didn’t even notice the little pant-gnawing bugger until you found it extremely difficult to lift your left leg up into the birdbath, which you thought made a perfect step ladder for hiking the fence. If you hadn’t tipped the bowl of that bath the way you did, your fall might not have been broken by the dog. We’ll let that one slide, as that pooch was excessively noisy, a really shitty guard dog (you got all the way through their yard with it attached to your Dockers), and in reality, every war has collateral damage. Even the wars we wage on ourselves. Christmas will suck a little extra for those strangers as a result.

And that brings us to the here and now. Outside her parents’ home, at the bottom of the driveway, using the curb as a pillow. Yes, that is the early morning sun, punching you in the eyes. You better start walking before you are caught in such close proximity to the string of idiotic misdemeanors from last night. That’s it, groan yourself to a standing position and start… Wait up. Holy shit. Look who is coming our way now. You can’t see straight yet, but that’s her dad coming down the driveway. He looks like he’s in one of his “moods” too. Don’t tell him about the piss, or he’ll go get the baster and reenact a lost episode of OZ.

Okay, here he is… Keep it together.

“Chad. You have to stop doing this to yourself, to us. Three months is enough.”

Tell him to fuck off. He doesn’t understand what it’s like. He doesn’t know how it feels to be so goddamned lost. Tell him to fix this. Tell him to correct the broken justice of it all. Tell him this is all his goddamn fault! Tell him NOW!

“I know Mr. Jameson, I know. It’s just that…”

What!!? No apologies goddamnit! What are you doing to yourself here? You’re crumbling! Everything we’ve worked for is thinning at the seams! Grip this thing and clear it. She is all that makes sense to you, and he is standing between you and your sanity. HE is the one who is locking it all in, not YOU. HE is coveting your precious answers. HE must come correct with an explanation. HE is the…

“She’s gone kid. Forever. Now get up. She’ll never come back, to any of us.”

Jesus. Well, there it is then. The hole that is you, clearly painted in the darkest of hues. Don’t bother holding back now. We’re cocked and chambered. Pull it. Pull it! PULL! IT!

“I still love her so much…”

“I know son, I know. Me too.”

We’ve done enough shouldering. Release… Release… Release…

That’s it. Let it all out. We can grieve now.